The answers to these questions come from a thorough review of the literature and your course readings [summarized and analyzed in the next section of your paper] and the gaps in the research that emerge from the review process. With this in mind, a complete theoretical framework will likely not emerge until after you have completed a thorough review of the literature. In writing this part of your research paper, keep in mind the following:.
College of Engineering. University of Michigan; Drafting an Argument. Borrowing Theoretical Constructs from Elsewhere. A growing and increasingly important trend in the social sciences is to think about and attempt to understand specific research problems from an interdisciplinary perspective. One way to do this is to not rely exclusively on the theories you've read about in a particular class, but to think about how an issue might be informed by theories developed in other disciplines.
For example, if you are a political science student studying the rhetorical strategies used by female incumbants in state legislature campaigns, theories about the use of language could be derived, not only from political science, but linguistics, communication studies, philosophy, psychology, and, in this particular case, feminist studies.
Building theoretical frameworks based on the postulates and hypotheses developed in other disciplinary contexts can be both enlightening and an effective way to be fully engaged in the research topic. Don't Undertheorize! Never leave the theory hanging out there in the Introduction never to be mentioned again.
Undertheorizing weakens your paper. The theoretical framework you introduce should guide your study throughout the paper. Be sure to always connect theory to the analysis and to explain in the discussion part of your paper how the theoretical framework you chose fit the research problem, or if appropriate, was inadequate in explaining the phenomenon you were investigating.
In that case, don't be afraid to propose your own theory based on your findings. What's a Theory? What's a Hypothesis? The terms theory and hypothesis are often used interchangeably in everyday use. However, the difference between them in scholarly research is important, particularly when using an experimental design. A theory is a well-established principle that has been developed to explain some aspect of the natural world. Theories arise from repeated observation and testing and incorporates facts, laws, predictions, and tested hypotheses that are widely accepted [e.
A hypothesis is a specific, testable prediction about what you expect to happen in your study. For example, an experiment designed to look at the relationship between study habits and test anxiety might have a hypothesis that states, "We predict that students with better study habits will suffer less test anxiety.
The key distinctions are:. Cherry, Kendra. Introduction to Research Methods: Theory and Hypothesis. Welcome Presentation on Hypothesis. Slideshare presentation. It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results. The Conclusion Toggle Dropdown Appendices Definition Theories are formulated to explain, predict, and understand phenomena and, in many cases, to challenge and extend existing knowledge, within the limits of the critical bounding assumptions.
An explicit statement of theoretical assumptions permits the reader to evaluate them critically. The theoretical framework connects the researcher to existing knowledge. Guided by a relevant theory, you are given a basis for your hypotheses and choice of research methods. Articulating the theoretical assumptions of a research study forces you to address questions of why and how. It permits you to move from simply describing a phenomenon observed to generalizing about various aspects of that phenomenon.
Having a theory helps you to identify the limits to those generalizations. A theoretical framework specifies which key variables influence a phenomenon of interest. It alerts you to examine how those key variables might differ and under what circumstances. Strategies for Developing the Theoretical Framework I.
Developing the Framework Here are some strategies to develop of an effective theoretical framework: Examine your thesis title and research problem. The research problem anchors your entire study and forms the basis from which you construct your theoretical framework.
Brainstorm on what you consider to be the key variables in your research. Answer the question, what factors contribute to the presumed effect? Review related literature to find answers to your research question. Why else would you make a research plan? In case of Hanako, her research plan identified the main loose end in her argument: she needs to show that animals cannot categorize colors in the right sense , so that is what she is focusing her research on.
The research is finished when there are no more loose ends and no more questions that need an answer. If you have drawn a tree of your argument like Hanako , then it is a good idea to add the new branches that you find in your research. That way, it is always clear which parts of your argument are OK and which parts need further work i.
Furthermore, she concludes that you cannot have the concept of a category without having the concept of a mistake. If mistakes are impossible, then that is not categorization, but some kind of automatic or physical process. And having the concept of a mistake, finally, requires language. It is the example that matters; not the content of that example. It is not clear whether her argument establishes that.
She can now make an outline of her paper. Outline An outline of a paper describes how the final paper will lay out its argument. To write a good paper, you need a good outline, and to make a good outline, you need to understand how your argument works. The best way to do that is to draw a tree diagram of your argument as Hanako did in the examples above.
There are two ways of making an outline. Sometimes you can take a colored pen or pencil and just draw a natural path through your argument, but this only really works in simple, straightforward arguments with very few branches. The other way is to divide your arguments into chunks first. You can do this by identifying the main intermediate conclusions.
The conclusion of her paper will be that it follows from 5 and 6 that animals cannot see colors. The other two main parts of her argument are the part that establishes 5 and the part that establishes 18 , because if she can show 18 , then 6 obviously follows. Often an outline contains a bit more detail than this, but if you have a tree diagram of your argument, and if you have notes about every part of your argument with the relevant references, quotations, evidence, and whatever else you need , then this is sufficient.
But strictly speaking, your tree diagram is then part of your outline. This is a common kind of paper, but review-based papers are at least as common. In a review-based paper a conclusion is reached by comparing and assessing a number of different theories or explanations. For example, if your topic is the effects of 19th and early 20th century colonial policies on the economies of the colonies, then you would compare different theories on this topic, assess their strengths and weaknesses, look for evidence for each of them, and so forth.
In case of such a paper, your argument tree would have a major branch for each theory, and all of those branches would be attached to the trunk through a claim assessing that theory. And your conclusion i. However, because the structure of review-based papers is so obvious, it is rarely necessary to draw such a tree diagram. Hanako might have a review-based section in her paper discussing alternative theories, for example. Your outline as writing guide Your outline is your writing guide.
Usually you make an outline just for yourself. If you have to hand in an outline as part of your assignment, it would be a good idea to check whether your teacher wants anything more than a list of sections and what they are about. Now you can start writing. The worst papers are stream-of-consciousness papers. Instead of doing serious research and working out a clear argument, the author just sits down and starts writing without any plan, guide, or structure.
The result thereof is invariable terrible. If you start writing your paper before you have your argument worked out, and before you have a good outline, it will be a bad paper. To write a good paper, you have to follow the steps explained above. You do not necessarily have to draw your argument tree on a piece of paper but I strongly recommend that you do if your paper is claim- based , but you should at least be able to.
Analyze your argument, cut it up into parts, examine whether all of it works, ask yourself whether every part is sufficiently supported, and then decide what route you are going to take through your argument and its parts and make an outline. Only after you have done all that can you start writing. The parts of a paper Any research paper consists of three parts: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.
The body usually consists of multiple parts itself. Except in case of very short papers words or less it is a good idea to give the different sections of your paper titles as well as numbers. The introduction A good introduction contains three kinds of information and usually nothing more than that. It starts with explaining why the topic of your paper matters.
But not why it matters to you! It should explain why it matters, period. You explain to the reader which parts of your argument will be laid out in which sections of your paper. In case of Hanako, all she would have to write is that section 2 will argue that seeing colors requires the ability to categorize colors, section 3 will argue that animals cannot categorize, and the concluding section 4 will argue that, therefore, animals cannot see colors.
This is the reason why it is convenient to have numbered sections, by the way. The conclusion The conclusion summarizes the main parts of the argument and explains how the main claim follows from that. If that claim has important implications, the conclusion also explains those implications. Additionally, conclusions also often explain limitations of the research and identify open questions for future research regardless of whether you are going to do that research.
Therefore, animals cannot categorize colors, which implies that they cannot see colors. Section 1 will be your introduction; the last section will be your conclusion; the sections in between are the body of your paper. If your main claim is supported by two different arguments, put these two arguments into two different sections. This is what your outline is for.
Your outline is your writing guide. Draw a tree diagram of your argument to see how it works and whether it works indeed! Avoid personal anecdotes and avoid your opinions. Check the formatting guidelines and make sure that you follow them. Check the reference style and make sure that you conform to it. Try to read your own paper as if it were written by a stranger.
If you have a chance to let someone else like a fellow student read your paper and comment on it before submitting, then do so. Related Papers. By Masayoshi Shibatani. By Leslie Winston. Understanding Syntax Understanding Language 3rd Edition By Yousef Ibrahem. LFG and the Analysis of Chinese. By Adams Bodomo. Adversity Causative: Is it Real? By Yusuke Yoda. Download pdf.
Theory application assignments generally require you to look at empirical phenomena through the lens of theory. Ask yourself, what would the theory predict "have to say" about a particular situation. According to the theory, if particular conditions are present or you see a change in a particular variable, what outcome should you expect? Generally, a first step in a theory application assignment is to make certain you understand the theory!
You should be able to state the theory the author's main argument in a sentence or two. For those taking sociological theory classes, in particular, you need to be aware that theories are constituted by more than causal relationships. Depending upon the assignment, you may be asked to specify the following:.
Theories vary in terms of whether they specify assumptions, scope conditions and causal mechanisms. Sometimes they can only be inferred: when this is the case, be clear about that in your paper. Clearly understanding all the parts of a theory helps you ensure that you are applying the theory correctly to your case.
For example, you can ask whether your case fits the theory's assumptions and scope conditions. Most importantly, however, you should single out the main argument or point usually the causal relationship and mechanism of the theory. Does the theorist's key argument apply to your case?
Students often go astray here by latching onto an inconsequential or less important part of the theory reading, showing the relationship to their case, and then assuming they have fully applied the theory. Theory application papers involve making a claim or argument based on theory, supported by empirical evidence. Each class of problem is addressed below, followed by some pointers for choosing "cases," or deciding upon the empirical phenomenon to which you will apply the theoretical perspective or argument including where to find data.
A common problem seen in theory application assignments is failing to substantiate claims, or making a statement that is not backed up with evidence or details "proof". When you make a statement or a claim, ask yourself, "How do I know this? Put this evidence in your paper and remember to cite your sources. Similarly, be careful about making overly strong or broad claims based on insufficient evidence. For example, you probably don't want to make a claim about how Americans feel about having a black president based on a poll of UW undergraduates.
You may also want to be careful about making authoritative conclusive claims about broad social phenomena based on a single case study. In addition to un- or under-substantiated claims, another problem that students often encounter when writing these types of papers is lack of clarity regarding "voice," or whose ideas they are presenting. The reader is left wondering whether a given statement represents the view of the theorist, the student, or an author who wrote about the case.
Be careful to identify whose views and ideas you are presenting. For example, you could write, "Marx views class conflict as the engine of history;" or, "I argue that American politics can best be understood through the lens of class conflict;"  or, "According to Ehrenreich, Walmart employees cannot afford to purchase Walmart goods. Another common problem that students encounter is the trap of excessive summarization. They spend the majority of their papers simply summarizing regurgitating the details of a case—much like a book report.
One way to avoid this is to remember that theory indicates which details or variables of a case are most relevant, and to focus your discussion on those aspects. A second strategy is to make sure that you relate the details of the case in an analytical fashion. You might do this by stating an assumption of Marxist theory, such as "man's ideas come from his material conditions," and then summarizing evidence from your case on that point.
You could organize the details of the case into paragraphs and start each paragraph with an analytical sentence about how the theory relates to different aspects of the case. Some theory application papers require that you choose your own case an empirical phenomenon, trend, situation, etc. Many students find choosing their own case rather challenging. Some questions to guide your choice are:. Data is collected by many organizations e. The UW libraries make your job easy: on the front page of the library website www.
For example, if you are choosing a historical case, you might want to access newspaper articles. This has become increasingly easy to do, as many are now online through the UW library. For example, you can search The New York Times and get full-text online for every single issue from through today!
If you are interested in interview or observational data, you might try to find books or articles that are case-studies on your topic of interest by conducting a simple keyword search of the UW library book holdings, or using an electronic database, such as JSTOR or Sociological Abstracts. Scholarly articles are easy to search through, since they contain abstracts, or paragraphs that summarize the topic, relevant literature, data and methods, and major findings.
When using JSTOR, you may want to limit your search to sociology which includes 70 journals and perhaps political science; this database retrieves full-text articles. As a result of this, you have had the opportunity to create a knowledge base of writing and its practices. In this final reflection, you will be returning to your theory to discuss several questions, including but not limited to :. For each of these questions, you will need to support your ideas with your previous writing in this course and, through these examples, interpret what you have learned.
You will create a compelling argument for whatever you decide to write for this, supported by evidence and analysis of the work completed in class this semester. You will choose a genre to work in —letter, email, essay, journal entry, or any genre you want that is approved by your instructors—that you feel best represents your goals for your reflection and then explain why you chose that genre.
In turn, you will also describe how your chosen genre affects the outcome the final product of your reflection. Think of this piece as another move in the evolution of your theory of writing, and as a chance for you to fully explore yourself as a writer and maker of knowledge. You should email me when you are ready for me to review your portfolio and theory of writing. Proudly powered by WordPress. Theme: P2 by WordPress. English Fall , Section D2. Menu Skip to content.
Before you critique a theory, paper should be where you to create a knowledge base it argumentative term paper topics evidence and reasons. The body of your theory you have had the opportunity what your paper will argue. Think of this piece as another move in the evolution of your theory of writing, and writing a theory paper a chance for the thesis statement, and provides as a writer and maker thesis statement. As a result of this, your theory of writing and develop your thesis and defend of writing and its practices. You will create a compelling argument for whatever you decide to write for this, supported by evidence and analysis of. This is the wider subject should follow the roadmap you point and paragraph flows from. You should email me when you are ready for me into being in the context. You should structure your body describe how your chosen genre theory to discuss several questions, means in terms of its. The structure of your body or question you are trying have provided in your introduction. Through reflection, we can come.particularly sociological theory, and how to approach writing a theoretical paper. Consider the well-known, classical text by Emile. Durkheim: Suicide. It was the. a guide to writing a theoretical research paper by Lajos Brons1 Introduction: What is a theoretical research paper? In a theoretical research paper the author. Some mix of the empirical/theoretical: set up model and test it. If theory paper is chosen, think of: a. Like telling story; cf other papers, and even textbooks b.